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Reading Maketh a Full Man...

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Currently reading

The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature (Canto)
C.S. Lewis
Boys and Girls Learn Differently!: A Guide for Teachers and Parents
Michael Gurian, Terry Trueman, Patricia Henley
Ambition and Survival: Becoming a Poet
Christian Wiman
Deep River: The Life and Music of Robert Shaw
Keith C. Burris
Daring, Trusting Spirit
John De Gruchy
The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church
John Thavis
The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia
Orlando Figes

To the Elephant Graveyard

To the Elephant Graveyard - Tarquin Hall This is an unusual book. A British journalist joins an elephant team in northeast India (Assam) as they hunt down a rogue elephant who has killed almost 40 people. The killings seem premeditated, cruel, and grisly. Could an elephant really be responsible for this type of crime? The author initially believes that there is something corrupt about this, that perhaps this is an excuse for trigger happy hunters to indulge in a blood sport or some such reason. He does indeed find corruption, but it is not because the tale about the elephant is untrue. The elephant hunter actually grew up with elephants and loves them. He does not want to kill the elephant, but when they go bad someone must treat them with dignity even while tracking and killing them. Who better to do that than someone who loves and respects elephants?The real story is what is happening to India as a country. The story about the elephants is a very convenient and fitting way to do this. Old India is the Asian elephant. Old India is disappearing and dying. Old India is clung to by those who live there, but who care so little about preserving it that they do nothing to help. The most telling quotes come from the Indians themselves. "We Hindus are hypocrites. Every day, we pray to animals and Mother India, and even go to Ganesha [the elephant god]. Yet at the same time, we are destroying the very earth that we hold so sacred.""Our priests say that this is Kalyung, the Age of Kali, a time of decline and degeneration. But that has become an excuse to do nothing. The fact is, people are selfish and lazy."